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10 Bad Assumptions in Raising Children : Assumption Number 7

Posted by Remy on May 6, 2009

There are several assumptions parents make that are detrimental to their children. As a parent who teaches I am afforded the opportunity to spend time thinking of ways to train children. This is not to say that I’ve figured anything out, I have three rascally boys all under the age of five, so what do I know, right? But because it is my job to train children, both as parent and teacher, I know that good thoughts only follow thoughts and I have thoughts. What follows is a few thoughts that strike me as important, but are also not emphasized enough. These are not meant to detract from any other fine advice, but to compliment it.

 10. Churchtime is Time to Sit Still and Quiet

9. Words are Bad

8. God is Always Watching 

7. Obedience is Most Important

Obedience is important, don’t get me wrong, but seeing as we can teach dogs obedience, to treat obedience as the most important thing is a bad assumption. Rather we should aim at raising happy children, and this does not mean “placating them with goodies”.

There is perhaps much to criticize in the Shorter Catechism, but the first question I find to be among the finest written by mortals: What is man’s chief end? To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. We have to note that it is a singular end and that achieving that end entails glorifying and enjoying. You cannot glorify without enjoying.

To put it another way obedience is not enough. Islam is the religion for obedience, the word itself means “submission”, in it there is no need to love Allah or enjoy him forever. But to instill in our children subservience to commands only ensures immaturity.

If we could reduce the Christian message to one world “Rejoice” would be more than a decent summary. “Euaggelion” the Greek word we translate “Gospel” is the word “good news” and therefore to bring “the good news of the Gospel” is not so much repetitive as it is justified emphasis.

As children the most terrifying thing is absence, and absence can be felt with a mother ten feet away mopping and a father five feet away and reading. They’re quick to discover that volume attracts attention and all children want to be taken seriously even if it means harshly. But investing in their attitudes, giving them the responsibility of being happy, nurturing happy children will prune much of their dissatisfaction before it blossoms.

As Christians we have a responsibility to be happy, it is the easy burden, the light yoke. I am continually amazed how easy it is to for me to make my children laugh. I think it is a secret power God gives parents. Sometimes when confronted by a crankyfaced boy I smile, toothy and moonfaced, and as the image of God we have been designed to be happy, inevitably in the face of happiness, my children resist, but break out also in smiles.

11 Responses to “10 Bad Assumptions in Raising Children : Assumption Number 7”

  1. The outward form of obedient behavior without the inward substance of obedient love and joy is just cleverly disguised obedience.

  2. Erm…”cleverly disguised disobedience,” of course.

  3. Valerie,

    What is that a picture of by your name?

  4. It’s a Valkyrie, as in a play on Valerie Kyriosity…not as in any particular dedication to Norse mythology.

  5. So if I meet you, I don’t have to be worried I’m about to die?

  6. Probably not.

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